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Go With the Flow: HOW THREE ENGINEERS LEARNED FROM THEIR APPAREL BRAND TO CREATE A MARKETING POWERHOUSE.

After founding the apparel company Belong Designs straight out of college, best friends Ben Thomson, Shamus McNutt and Mark Grubbs noticed business owners peppering them with questions about their startup. Who was behind their apparel? Their website? Their logo?

The answer: They'd been doing it all themselves. That's when the trio realized they were on to something. "We said, 'Hey, we do that,'" Thomson explained. "What do you need?'"

Two years later, the entrepreneurs--all mechanical engineers by trade--have taken the lessons they learned to FlowState Marketing, a full-service marketing agency serving clients like Blue Moon Brewing Co., HomeAdvisor and iHeartMedia. The team specializes in branded apparel and merchandise but also offers web design and branding services. They recently designed and produced custom S'well water bottles and T-shirts for an upcoming event hosted by software company SketchUp.

"In engineering, you look at the controls you have and work with them to get the result you need," Thomson said. "We took that approach and our work ethic and applied it to marketing. Because that's what everyone needs: a solution."

The shop, about two-dozen employees strong, has come a long way from its beginnings in a house that the three friends shared. But other things have stayed the same.

"We just bought a house together--much to our girlfriends' dismay," McNutt said.

BY KELSEY SUTTON

Specs

Who (L. to r.) Mark Grubbs, creative director; Shamus McNutt, president; Ben Thomson, chief of operations

What Full-service marketing agency

Where Denver

1 FlowState designed and manufactured custom embroidered hats for the Anheuser-Busch-owned Breckenridge Brewery.

2 The shop created an interactive website for beverage distributor FloWater.

3 The agency developed branded bottle openers for MillerCoors' Blue Moon Brewing Co.

Please Note: Illustration(s) are not available due to copyright restrictions.

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Title Annotation:AGENCY
Author:Sutton, Kelsey
Publication:ADWEEK
Date:Sep 17, 2018
Words:292
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